Reality Check

DDP Newsletter, September 2012, Volume XXX, No. 5

The Green religion constantly issues apocalyptic prophecies and proclaims dogma. Ice will melt, seas will rise, green is clean, and their policies will lead to health, prosperity, and the salvation of the Planet as well as humanity.

But without a Memory Hole, these false prophets cannot prevail.

In 1983, Woodwell et al. wrote that forests “are expected to disappear during the first half of the twenty-first century.” And global warming would “probably cause a loss of carbon stored on land” (Science 12/9/83).

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has monitored the world’s forests at 5 to 10-year intervals since 1946. As of 2010, forests covered 31% of the world’s land area. The rate of deforestation, especially in Brazil and Indonesia, is decreasing, and there are net gains in Europe and Asia owing to natural reforestation and planting.          Instead of decreasing, global carbon uptake by land and ocean has doubled between 1960 and 2010. Our understanding of the global carbon cycle is admitted to be limited; it is not even certain whether the carbon is going into the deep ocean, where it might stay for thousands of years, or forests, from whence it might return to the atmosphere in a few decades (Nature 8/2/12). The increase amounts to about 1 billion tonnes of CO2 per year, and continues unabated, according to Sara Mikaloff-Fletcher of the [New Zealand] National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research. She said the breakthrough had taken scientists “completely by surprise” (New Zealand Herald 7/11/12, cited by the Climate Policy Network, CCNet 7/12/12). The cause is still a mystery.

The melting of glaciers and ice caps (GIC) and resulting sea level rise is the iconic image of global warming catastrophe. However, there is much uncertainty about them, as fewer than 120 (0.075%) of the world’s 160,000 glaciers and ice caps have had their mass balance (sum of annual gains and losses) measured. Records extend beyond 30 years for only 37, writes Jonathan Bamber (Nature 2/23/12). Now we have the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), which consists of a pair of satellite making observations of changes in the earth’s gravitational field since 2002. The contribution of GIC, excluding Antarctica and Greenland peripheral GICs, to sea-level rise is less than half of that previously thought (0.41±0.08 mm/yr compared with 1.1 mm/yr). The contribution of the High Mountain Asia region (0.01 mm/yr) is only one-tenth as much as previously thought. See Jacob et al., doi:10.1038/nature10847. Including Antarctica and Greenland, GICs contribute to sea-level rise of 1.48±0.26 mm/yr.

Arctic sea ice may reach a record low this year, for the period in which systematic measurements are available (since 1979—just coincidentally the peak ice year of the last century). This does not, however, mean the lowest extent ever. There is evidence that during the warmer periods in the last 10,000 years, the ice virtually disappeared, such as the period between 8,000 and 5,000 years ago (TWTW 8/18/12). Even in the last 2,000 years there were the Roman warm period, around 0 A.D., and the medieval warm period, around 800-1000 A.D., when temperatures were probably even warmer than previously thought, writes Lewis Page (The Register 7/10/12, cited by CCNet 7/11/12). Still more recently, to name just two examples, a 1922 Washington Post headline read “Arctic Ocean Getting Warm; Seals Vanish and Icebergs Melt,” and in 1935 a “Russian Ship Sailed 500 Miles from the North Pole in Ice-Free Water.” This year, by the way, Antarctic sea ice is at or near the satellite record high (http://tinyurl.com/d3pe8cq).

Greens are turning against Green energy—even before it becomes economically viable. Western Lands Project, Basin and Range Watch, and Solar Done Right have filed a complaint with the Bureau of Land Management, stating that the agency “failed to analyze numerous impacts of solar energy plant development within several Solar Energy Zones.” The Greens are worried that the projects might disturb caliche deposits, which might release CO2 to the air, and threaten the habitat of the endangered desert tortoise, Mojave fringe-toed lizard, golden eagle, and desert bighorn” (WSJ 9/4/12).

If one is worried about trace concentrations of greenhouse gases, the solar energy industry has become one of the leading emitters of hexafluorethane (C2F6), nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), which have, respectively, a greenhouse potency 12,000, 17,000, and 23,000 that of CO2. “There’s no evidence that solar cells offset fossil fuel use in the American context,” writes Ozzie Zehner (Green Illusions).

Wind has no environmental benefit, stated John Droz at the 2012 DDP meeting. To build one megawatt of generating capacity requires 2,000 pounds of rare earths. A 350-megawatt project generates 350,000 pounds of radioactive waste plus a huge amount of toxic air pollution. Offshore wind installations disrupt marine habitats. While the harm to birds, particularly migratory birds, has been diminished, there is no known way to mitigate bat takings. The loss of bats would have a profound effect on agriculture, as a bat eats about 1 million insects.

“Puff, the Magic Drag on the Economy” is Sen. Lamar Alexander and Rep. Mike Pompeo’s description of the effect of green energy on the economy (WSJ 9/19/12). While the Brookings Institution claimed that there are more jobs in the “Clean Economy” than in fossil fuels—2.7 million and 2.4 million, respectively—there are only about 24,000 jobs in each of wind power and photovoltaic solar power. The big “green” categories are waste management, public mass transit, and organic food and farming (TWTW 8/18/12).

Natural gas, once portrayed by the Sierra Club as the “good fossil fuel,” is now “dirty, dangerous, and running amok.” The Beyond Coal campaign is killing the coal industry; Beyond Natural Gas wants to prevent new natural gas plants from being built whenever possible (WSJ 5/30/12, http://tinyurl.com/8ldsjxc). Although the Dept. of Energy reports that natural gas electric plants produce 45% less carbon than coal plants, some now allege that “compared [with] coal, the [climate] footprint of shale gas is at least 20% greater….” (Commentary, June 2012, http://tinyurl.com/bmpa6p2). Seemingly forgotten is that there are no wind plants without a gas backup—if “backup” is the proper term for something that has to be working two-thirds of the time.

The reality is that apocalyptic Green predictions are regularly shown to be wrong. This doesn’t matter because the real agenda is not to protect human health or to promote clean, economical energy, but to reduce human population and jettison free enterprise and individual rights in favor of a state-managed economic system.

GOOD READING

  • The A-Z Climate Reality Check report by Marc Morano, released by Climate Depot, December 2011, presented at the UN climate conference in Durban, South Africa (http://tinyurl.com/7tch258).
  • The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism: Mankind and Climate Change Mania by Steve Goreham (“the antidote to Gore”), foreword by Harrison Schmitt.
  • Roosters of the Apocalypse by Rael Jean Isaac, published by Heartland Institute.

“Global Warming Fanatics Take Note: Sunspots Do Affect Climate” by Willie Soon and William M. Briggs, Washington Times 9/6/12, http://tinyurl.com/9v9qkbr). New Berkeley BEST project temperature records confirm: changes in solar radiation influence climate.

2 thoughts on “Reality Check

  1. Pingback: A MD Takes Contrarian Look at Green Policies | US Daily Review

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